Voting is an American right guaranteed to every citizen. Unfortunately, older adults often have a difficult time exercising this right.
There are dozens of different reasons senior citizens might not be able to make it to the polls.
Luckily, that’s not the only way to make yourself heard.
Here’s how senior citizens can continue to rock the vote, even when they can’t leave the house:
Obstacles to Voting
For older adults, there are dozens of reasons they may not be able to go to a physical polling site. Health and mobility issues, lack of transportation, and poor weather are just a few.
Other obstacles may include:
- Inaccessible polling sites: Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act, many polling stations have stairs to climb and doorways too narrow for wheelchairs
- Voter ID laws: 14 states have newer voter ID laws which may impact older adults who no longer drive and lack a current photo ID
- Problems for people of color: Older people of color who were born in the South might not even have a birth certificate and often have trouble obtaining documentation
- Absentee Voting/Mail-In Ballots
Absentee voting is an option for people who either can’t or don’t want to go to their polling place on election day. Every state has its own rules and regulations, but health issues and/or disabilities which make it difficult to get to a polling place are typically an acceptable reason to vote this way.
- Early Voting
Early voting is almost the same as a “regular” election day. You go to a physical polling place outside of your home to cast your vote – just a little bit earlier than everyone else.
This is often a much better option for seniors who have mobility issues, sensitivities to noise/crowds, or who need extra time, as the crowds are much lighter.
Times and locations vary from state to state, so make sure you check your local guidelines.
Voting in New Jersey
New Jersey residents have it fairly easy when it comes to voting. The Garden state offers both early voting and absentee voting, and most polling places do not require photo identification.
This year, the primary for the presidential election will take place on June 2 and the registration deadline is May 12. Absentee ballots must be received by June 2 and the date for early voting is still pending as of this writing.
To apply for absentee voting/mail-in ballot, you can fill out this online application. ALL voters are eligible to vote absentee in New Jersey – there are no special requirements. The application must be received by county officials at least seven days prior to the election if returned by mail, or it can be turned in until 3 pm the day prior to an election if submitted in person.
Not sure if your registered to vote? Click here to check your voter status.
Don’t let mobility, health, or other issues stop you from exercising your right to vote! Make yourself heard! Your opinion matters.